The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority debunked on Friday reports on social media suggesting that cellular services providers were excessively charging consumers on mobile phone top-ups.
The PTA said in a statement that service providers were only deducting withholding tax and general sales tax/federal excise duty on pre-paid recharges, after restoration of taxes by the Supreme Court in April 2019.
Reports circulating on social media suggested that consumers were getting Rs76 on a recharge of Rs100.
On the recharge of Rs100, the PTA stated, balance provided to the consumer is Rs88.889 after deduction of 12.5% withholding tax i.e. Rs11.111.
It explained that the 19.5% GST is applied on per call, SMS, and data usage basis. “When a user consumes its remaining balance of Rs88.889, a total of Rs14.505 is charged as GST.”
The telecom authority said that due to the lack of clarity on GST and WHT deduction, subscribers were assuming that service providers were charging them well above applicable taxes, which was not correct.
The PTA fixed a ceiling on call setup charges at Rs0.15 per call, the authority said, adding that it was vigilant of the rates/tariffs being charged by cellular service providers.
The telecom authority further said that action would be taken on any reported incidence of charging above the published tariffs and applicable taxes in accordance with the law.